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July 30, 2013


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Blessings to all on your journeys in both the outer and inner worlds.


Thank you, PEACEsista. And thank you for walking in the light on our behalf.


Flann: I am thinking about you and I know you will find your way out of the dark.


Finding light is a good thing. It is always there, but I hear you.


Thank you all.


I'm here. I'm listening. Even when there are no words.


Thank you, treesta.


We Grow Accustomed to the Dark

We grow accustomed to the Dark --
When light is put away --
As when the Neighbor holds the Lamp
To witness her Goodbye --

A Moment -- We uncertain step
For newness of the night --
Then -- fit our Vision to the Dark --
And meet the Road -- erect --

And so of larger -- Darkness --
Those Evenings of the Brain --
When not a Moon disclose a sign --
Or Star -- come out -- within --

The Bravest -- grope a little --
And sometimes hit a Tree
Directly in the Forehead --
But as they learn to see --

Either the Darkness alters --
Or something in the sight
Adjusts itself to Midnight --
And Life steps almost straight.

Emily Dickinson


As you are walking through this larger Darkness when neither the Moon nor the Stars disclose a sign to point the way, may you be given the gift of intuition to guide you as you take each step.


Two years ago. barista told me to order and read the book, Awakening Joy by James Bazar. I ordered it and began to read it -- got through about 20 pages, and to use Westsista's phrase, I said: "Pah! What a bunch of horse crap" and set it aside.

I got it out this morning and began to read it again, this time taking in that being happy or joyful or seeing the light requires, for some of us, altering the chemistry in our brains. You want to lose weight? Stay in shape? You exercise regularly with the intention of staying in shape. You want to be happy? You make the intention to be happy. Hmmm. Didn't seem so horse crappy to me.

This morning I read further than I did two years ago and noticed how the author consistently makes some statement like this one: "Having the intention to be happy does NOT mean there is no suffering in the world." "It does NOT mean being a Pollyanna." This was freeing to me.

I was reminded of William Blake's poem "Eternity" which I had memorized (why? I have no clue):


She who binds to herself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But she who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sun rise.

Obviously, I changed the pronouns. But I decided that I'm going to give this Bazar guy a run for his money. I'm going to experiment with making this intention every day as often as I remember it:


I put it on a post-it on my bathroom mirror.

Weird intuition, no?


Not weird at all. Kiss that joy. Take that uncertain step, and in Emily Dickinson's words, 'meet the Road -- erect --'.

(I'm reading Emily Dickinson's poems at bit more lately. Every piece of punctuation, every capitalization or lack thereof, every space, has intense meaning in her poems.)


frida's dissertation was on Emily Dickinson, treesta. You'll have to pick her brain and heart some time.

Speaking of the importance of punctuation, remember the movie we watched with Emma Thompson called, "Wit" about a John Donne scholar dying of ovarian cancer?

Is "death" followed by a comma or semi-colon?


Yes, I do remember that movie. So intense. So brutally vivid.


Beautifully vivid, too.

There I go again . . . finding beauty in suffering and darkness.


Not either/or, rather both/and. I just finished reading the transcript from that scene. It was beautifully vivid. And it was brutally vivid.


For ALL of us, joy is something which can be cultivated. It does not just happen, though it is possible, I think, to cultivate a habit of joy. It begins for me with a seed of happiness, which must be watered with my time and attention in order to bloom into joy.

Today, it manifested for me like this: I have a Baseball Haiku book, which makes me smile just seeing it, but I must sit down to read it in order to really water my seed of happiness. This afternoon, I read baseball haiku, while eating popcorn and fresh watermelon ... creating a perfect and simple joy ... but, yes, it takes effort. One must pucker for the kiss and look up to catch a glimpse as it flies.


Here are some of my favorite baseball haiku:

(from American authors)

under the lights
hitting it out of the park
and into the night

Hopping over the mound
and into the dugout--
the first robin

late innings
the shortstop backpedals
into fireflies

(from Japanese authors)

watching the night game
someday, I too, may suffer
a losing streak

the outfielder's loneliness--
the summer moon


Sweet, PEACEsista. And joy.


from William Stafford's poem "Grace Abounding":

I'm saved in this big world by unforeseen
friends, or times when only a glance
from a passenger beside me, or just the tired
branch of a willow inclining toward earth,
may teach me how to join earth and sky.

Good luck dear Flann and Mattista and Peace and Treesta and all other friends of the sphere.


I think we need to all pucker for the kiss of joy while playing kazoos and drinking Miracle Margaritas. noway, of course, needs a good brew. All of us in one room. Yes. I like the thought of that picture.

(Thanks Frida for the good thoughts! BTW, a good friend of mine saw 3 wild California Condors a couple of days ago. There are only 65 in the world right now.)


That would count as joy, treesta.


Hard for me to see joy today. Stress is kicking my ass. I know its a temporary condition, but I think I have to take a break and go home, do something to change my state.


Thinking of you, West. Do whatever you need to in order to treat yourself with TLC.


Thanks everyone for keeping my girl company, whether it be in person or the sphere, while I'm gone.


How did I miss William Stafford's lovely poem that Frida posted last evening? I'm going to look up that poem.

Westsista: I am kicking stress's ass for you. Plus, we know that you have a tough weekend ahead. We're here.

We're with you, too, Matissta, in what looks like it will be another very difficult trip. Wish this was all over for you.

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